Pidato Resepsi Diplomatik Hut RI Ke-64


Bismillahirohmaa nirrohiem,
Assalamu’alaikum wr.wb
His Excellency Thariq Ahmed Ibrahim Al Haidan
Excellencies and colleagues,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen.
It is my distinct honor and pleasure to extend my profound appreciation and gratitude to all of you, for kindly accepting my invitation on the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the independence day of the Republic of Indonesia.
The year, 2009 is a very eventful year for Indonesia. Some of the events are sad and dreadful while some others are encouraging and quite promising. On September 30th, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit West Sumatera which inflicted an immense loss in terms of human lives and properties. More than 700 people are reported dead, and between 1000 to 2000 might have been buried alive. The whole international community reacted passionately by sharing our sorrow. The outpouring of sympathy and solidarity as well as humanitarian assistance from all over the world deeply touched us and become a great source of consolation for the victims and the bereaved families. I would like also to take this opportunity to convey my sincerest gratitude and highest appreciation to any party, individuals and colleagues who have expressed their sympathy and condolences regarding this tragedy. In particular, I thank the Government of the United Arab Emirates that has played a pivotal role in giving their assistance to the victims of the earthquake in Sumatera island. President H.H. Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, H.H Shaikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum directed the Foreign Aid Coordination Office UAE (FACO) and Red Crescent Authority in Abu Dhabi (RCA) to help the victim without delay. In fact, they were among the first team who reached Padang and brought very professional staff and advanced equipment badly needed by the local government.
On a more positive note, Indonesia is one of the few countries that has proved resistant against the global economic crisis. During the first semester this year, the economy grew by 4.2%, among the highest in Asia after China and India, thanks to strong domestic consumption and good economic fundamentals. In fact, Indonesia now belongs to the biggest 20 economies in the world.
After a long process of democracy, through direct election, the newly elected members of parliament were inaugurated on October 1st, 2009. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was also again elected. In fact today, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono have been officially installed by MPR and soon, the President will announce his new cabinet. May God the Almighty bestow His blessing, grace and mercy on all of us.
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Indonesia and United Arab Emirates maintain very cordial relations in all sectors. In the Economic field, total bilateral trade grew by 44 percent, from US$ 1.5 billion in 2007 to US$ 2.18 billion in 2008.  However, between January and June 2009, there was a significant decline of 39% from US$ 1.13 billion in 2008 to US$ 669 million. I do hope that there will be an increase in the second semester. Next week, I will be leading a group of UAE businessman to attend the Trade Expo Indonesia 2009. So far, we have about 40 participants from the UAE who have registered to attend the Expo which will be held on October 28th – November 1st 2009 in Jakarta. We hope this event will attract Middle Eastern buyers and investors; especially from the UAE. In addition, the participants are scheduled to visit Pekanbaru, Riau to seek investment opportunities in the field of mining and agriculture.
Meanwhile, I am also planning invite the governors and business people from Indonesia to participate at Dubai Global Village as well as to attend business meetings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai between 24 November 2009.
The UAE is our close friend, sharing similar objectives of building regional stability and a peaceful world. The Indonesian Government believes that the bilateral cooperation between our two countries provides a wonderful opportunity and solid foundation for a better future.
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
This evening, we are wearing Batik. It was inscribed on the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO on October 2nd, 2009 in Abu Dhabi. UNESCO also listed two other Indonesian cultural items namely Wayang and Keris as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity respectively in 2003 and 2005. The Government of Indonesia highly appreciates the support of the Government of the United Arab Emirates in particular the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage as one of the member Subsidiary Body of Committees for Intangible Cultural Heritage UNESCO.
In conclusion, I wish to warmly welcome you to this graceful event colored by touches of Indonesian folklore music “kulintang and angklung”, a display of Indonesia’s intangible cultural heritage and we are lucky that the Hilton hotel is preparing a variety of Indonesian popular cuisine for us this evening.
Thank you.
Abu Dhabi, 20 October 2009